In­dia’s Ola raises $1.1 bil­lion in Ten­cent, SoftBank-led round

Global Times - Weekend - - TECH -

In­dian ride-hail­ing firm Ola said on Wed­nes­day it has raised $1.1 bil­lion from in­vestors led by China’s Ten­cent Hold­ings and Ja­pan’s SoftBank Group and is in ad­vanced talks with other in­vestors for an­other $1 bil­lion.

Ola and ri­val Uber have been locked in a fierce bat­tle for a big­ger piece of In­dia’s $12 bil­lion taxi mar­ket and have burnt mil­lions of dol­lars to lure rid­ers and driv­ers in a bid to outdo each other.

Ola said in a state­ment it will use the funds to in­crease its num­bers of driv­ers and ex­pand its pres­ence to more cities. The com­pany op­er­ates in 110 In­dian cities and has a wide range of trans­port op­tions in­clud­ing bikes, auto-rick­shaws and elec­tric cars. Uber is present in about 30 cities.

It also said it will in­vest in ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and ma­chine learn­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, in­clud­ing in tech­nolo­gies like Ola Play.

The com­pany is in ad­vanced talks with US-based fi­nan­cial in­vestors for the sec­ond tranche, which would also in­clude funds from ex­ist­ing in­vestors, a source close to the com­pany said, de­clin­ing to be iden­ti­fied as the talks were not yet fi­nal­ized.

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